I have a lot of updates to do--namely, an update on our construction progress and, you know, updates on the kids and their growth--but the amount of pictures and editing thereof and whatnot has me feeling slightly overwhelmed. For now, I will settle for this: a post about God's faithfulness in our lives.
Well, as most of you know, Abe is in the holding pattern of seasonal layoff, and has been since the first week in December. We fortunately had a little bit of money saved, and Abe has been able to draw unemployment, but the real sustaining wonder has been God's provision through others' kindnesses. I know I've written about that before, but it is fresh in my mind, since we just received another anonymous gift yesterday. I knew what it was even before I opened the envelope, and, knowing I would certainly cry when I saw what was in it, I made Abe open it. I cried anyway.
I just finished reading the Stephen King book The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. The story is about a little girl, lost in the woods, who gets a measure of help and comfort from a vision of Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon. Gordon is a closer, and apparently, his trademark move is to point to the sky, toward God, after a save. In the book, the little girl asks him why he does this.
"I point," he says, "because it's God's nature to come on in the bottom of the ninth."
Well, is this theologically accurate? Not completely. But it feels that way sometimes: you're hopeless, hopeless, hopeless, and then bingo--in the bottom of the ninth, just when you need it, God comes through and shows Himself in such a way that He is unmistakable. Does that mean he wasn't there until then? Absolutely not. But maybe those moments of despair make the skies a little clearer to see Him in.
I mention that to say that yesterday was feeling like the bottom of the ninth to me; we've reached the point where we've almost exhausted our savings, and we've got some big bills coming up. The really big stuff--mortgage, heat--is fine. We'll be fine for those. But our cushion is growing mighty thin, and after doing the math yesterday, I was really feeling the stress of it. And then I got the mail, and we received this anonymous gift, and it felt like God really came on. Enclosed with the gift was this tiny note:
"Please consider this a gift from the Lord!
And my God will meet all your needs
according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
But wait, there's more...
We've also had some cause for concern lately related to my pregnancy. A few Fridays ago, we had an ultrasound. We were able to see our baby in 3-D, which was absolutely overwhelming and wonderful. But the technology, you see, has improved since my ultrasounds with the other two kids, and the better technology means a better look at what's really going on. Which means we have a greater chance of seeing some potentially scary stuff.
In this particular ultrasound, we saw two things we weren't expecting to see. The first, placenta previa, caught me by surprise and wasn't even a complication I'd considered. My placenta is so low-lying that it's blocking the baby's exit and may be cause for a C section. We're praying that it won't come to that, but until we see that it has moved out of the way, I am on somewhat restricted activity, which includes not picking my kids up too much (yeah, sure) and stepping away from playing volleyball. Bummer. Still, I know of several women who had a similar diagnosis and everything ended up working out just fine, so we're waiting and praying about that one.
The second thing we saw was called EIF, which is short for something that means "calcified spots on the baby's heart." Echo-something-foci. While this is not life-threatening in any way, it does double our chances of having a baby with Downs Syndrome. Other risk factors--age, family history--are in our favor, and other indicators of Downs were not present, so chances are that this will ultimately amount to just a few spots. But the possibility of raising a Downs child and all that entails is something I'm trying to prepare myself for without obsessing about it (a tall order, for sure).
In it all, God is still God. And when it all comes down to it, He has never--and will never--make a mistake. His faithfulness is great in little things like gift cards and bills, and great in big things like pregnancy. What a comfort to know that in the bottom of the ninth, and in every inning leading up to it, and even in the things after that, God is there.